Twice a year, members of the American Legion Post 31 hold a ceremonial flag burning before sunset on Cavanaugh Lake in Sylvan Township.
About 1,200 United States flags are burned by Chelsea Legion members each year following proper protocol and the playing of taps.
Post Member Craig Maier said the Legion collects between 1,100 and 1,200 flags a year that are dropped off at the Chelsea Library or Vogel’s and other locations. They store the faded and tattered flags at the Post until a ceremonial burning takes place.
“An old flag can be dropped off anytime at the library or Vogels and we’ll pick them up,” he said, adding that the Post handles the old flags from the city, the police and fire departments, cemeteries and private residents.
“The flags are burned in an honorary fashion with the proper ceremony, disposal and blessing,” he said.
The ceremony includes the lighting of a special camp-fire like pit, salutes and a blessing that states the flags have served the country well, but are no longer suitable to be flown, he said.